Current Photo of the Old Man of
the Mountain Site From the Viewing Area
Old Man of the Mountain, Aka "Great Stone Face," or "The
Profile," is located on the top of Cannon Mountain within New
Hampshire's Franconia Notch.
The Old Man of the Mountain has been an icon for the state of
New Hampshire for many years. Even despite it's fall in 2003,
the Old Man of the Mountain remains an iconic symbol for the
State of NH. The image of the Old Man of the Mountain remains
New Hampshire state emblem to this day.
The Old Man of the Mountain sat 1,200 feet above Profile Lake at
the base of Cannon Mountain and was 40' tall by 25 feet wide.
Daniel Webster, a New Hampshire native wrote a tribute to the
Old Man of the Mountain: "Men hang out their signs indicative of
their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe;
jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold
tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty
has hung out a sign to show that there he makes men."
The Old Man of The Mountain was featured on
How Was the Old Man of the Mountain Created?
Geologists speculate that the Old Man of the Mountain was formed
by the last retreating glaciers in New England approximately 12,000
What Was the Old Man of the Mountain Made of?
Old Man of the Mountain was made of Conway Granite. Conway
Granite was named because it was first found in Conway, NH.
Conway Granite was created during
the Jurassic period (144-206 million years ago) when parts of magma or plutons that didn't
reach the surface formed a unique salmon colored
granite known as Conway Granite. Granite generally contains the three
minerals of quartz, mica and feldspar. The
feldspar in Conway Granite is pinkish/orange or
salmon colored, which is what distinguishes
Conway Granite from other types of of granite.
Why Did the Old Man of the Mountain
The Old Man of the Mountain fell during the
early morning hours of May 3, 2003 after
years of erosion, freezing and melting as
well as vibrations from traffic on the
nearby I-93 that runs right through
Franconia Notch. Since the 1920's, the Old
Man was repaired with chains, cement, steel
rods, turnbuckles and by adding plastic and
gutters nearby to re-route running water
away from the Old Man of the Mountain.
The Old Man of the Mountain was made of 5
Conway Granite slabs that were all balanced
on the each other on the stack. The entire
weight of the slabs all rested on the bottom
slab, which was the chin of the Old Man of
the Mountain. The chin was a smaller slab of
granite which was only being held in place
by 2 feet of granite that rested on the
mountain's ledge, 80% of that slab was
protruding outwards and was seen as the chin
of the old man. the 2 feet that rested on
the mountain's ledge was held in place by
the weight of the slabs above it and the
weight was perfectly balanced within that 2
foot space, keeping the Old Man of the
Mountain firmly in place for over 12,000
The Old Man of the Mountain fell when
erosion from water damage changed the chins
center of gravity and caused the chin to
move forward far enough away from the cliff
face that it fell. The above facial features
of the Old Man of the Mountain followed,
since the chin which had supported the
natural structure for so many years was no
Today, many people have offered proposals on
how to recreate the natural wonder, all have
been rejected by the state of NH.
On June 24, 2010, the Friends of The Old Man
of The Mountain, broke ground on phase one
of the state-sanctioned "Old Man of the
Mountain Memorial" to be located on a
walkway along Profile Lake 1,200 feet below
Cannon Cliff. Phase one includes a viewing
platform with "Steel Profilers." When the
steel profilers are aligned with the Cannon
Cliff above, it will create a profile of
what the Old Man of the Mountain looked
like. Phase 2 includes a Granite gateway
with a tribute to the Nielsen family and
others who maintained the Old Man of the
Mountain over the last century. It will also
include a historical piece, one of the
turnbuckle tie rods that supported the top
slab. phase 3, the final phase of the
project will include five large "Granite
Monoliths" that will be lifted in alignment.
When viewed from ground level the granite
monoliths will merge, creating a
20-foot-tall profile replica of the five
ledges that formed the original profile.
Old Man of the Mountain Memorial
May 11, 2011 (eight years and one week from the date the Old Man
fell), the steel profilers were installed at the Old Man of the
Mountain Memorial site so people can view the mountain as it once
looked when the Old Man of the Mountain was still with us.
The Old Man of The Mountain Memorial and viewing area at Profiler
Plaza is handicapped accessible from the lower parking area off
Lifting the new steel profilers into place
Row of Steel Profilers
The finished product of the steel profilers.
New State Park sign for Old Man Of The Mountain Profiler Plaza in
Franconia Notch NH
Quote from Daniel Webster about the Old Man of The Mountain
Directions to Franconia Notch State Park:
You can get to Franconia Notch State Park by driving on I-93.
Whether you're coming from the North or South, Drive I-93. I-93
will take you right through the very well-marked Franconia Notch
Parkway and follow the signs for "Franconia Notch State Park."
You can also use the NH GPS Coordinates below an enter them into
your GPS unit:
Franconia Notch State Park GPS Coordinates:
Old Man on the Mountain Southbound Parking Area
N44° 09.668' |
Cannon Mountain Tramway & Ski Area
N44° 10.241' |
Lonesome Lake Trailhead GPS
N44° 08.554' |
Franconia Notch State Park
Old Man of the Mountain is located in
Franconia NH at Franconia NH.